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Giant mosquitoes set to invade Florida


A regular mosquito magnified. The gallinipper would be close to the same size without magnification
A regular mosquito magnified. The gallinipper would be close to the same size without magnification

Kevan Karanjia, Staff Writer

March 10, 2013 — Florida usually braces for hot sun and millions of tourists every summer but this year giant mosquitoes are set to invade the Sunshine State.

The rainy season is a perfect breeding period for the gallinipper
The rainy season is a perfect breeding period for the gallinipper

Mosquitoes are one of the few annoying drawbacks to the summer season but this year it could get worse in Florida as a new species gets ready to dominate the state. 

Scientists at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Science's say the new species, known as gallinippers, can measure up to 20 times the size of a common mosquito. 

Last year after tropical storms like Debby, millions of eggs were laid ready for the warm, moist summer this year. 

Gallinippers are about the size of an American quarter and their bite has been compared to "being knifed". 

“I wouldn’t be surprised, given the numbers we saw last year,” said University of Florida entomologist Phil Kaufman in a press release. “When we hit the rainy cycle we may see that again”.

According to Kaufman the gallinipper breeds during times of heavy rain by ponds and streams that have overflown.

While the eggs can remain inoperative for years, flood waters cause them to hatch.

The mosquitoes should be feared because they can even bite through clothing.

Unlike the common types which only eat during dawn and dusk, the gallinipper feeds throughout the day.

Bug repellent may not be enough to keep these new pests away.

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